Content Marketing

5 Key Digital Trends for Healthcare Marketers

Kicking off the summer of 2015 is another classic Internet Trends deck by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Weighing in at 197 slides, this deck continues with many of her long-running themes such as mobile usage and advertising spend, while also breaking new ground in terms of drones and instant purchasing habits.

For healthcare marketers, there are a handful of slides that are especially eye-opening.

1). All Digital, All Mobile, All the Time
(Slide 14 and Slide 69)

If there is any doubt about the importance of using mobile to reach your patients, take a few moments to let this bar chart sink in!  On average, Americans are spending close to 3 hours a day on mobile devices, with total screen time across all devices close to 6 hours. As a followup, check out slide 69: Millennial Smartphone Behavior. An incredible 87% of millennials agree that, “My smartphone never leaves my side, day or night.”

Bottom line: Go mobile, or go home.



meeker_slide_69_22).Video Views on Facebook
(Slide 60)

Even for longtime followers of the Internet Trends deck, the growth of Facebook video views appearing on slide 60 is fairly mind-boggling and holds significant implications not only for marketers, but is indicative of how our video-viewing habits are once again being turned upside down. It’s no secret that online video has become a huge marketing platform; but what’s happening now is that Facebook video sharing is in the process of becoming the vehicle for discovery and views.

Bottom line: Your brand needs to have a digital video presence, and you need to work with regulatory to make sure that the clips can be shared on Facebook.

meeker_slide_60_23). Instantaneous News Cycles
(Slide 65)

From a public relations and content marketing perspective, Slide 65 is both exciting and sobering. Twitter and Dataminr have accelerated the news cycle to the point where any event, anywhere in the world, immediately starts gaining digital traction.

Bottom Line: Whether your brand is facing some challenging news or attempting to gain attention for good news, the reality is that you, your management, and your regulatory team need to be ready to move faster than ever before.

meeker_slide_65_24). Just-in-Time Healthcare?
(Slide 74)

The combination of smartphones with service apps such as Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart has created an environment of near instantaneous delivery of services. Currently, healthcare is conspicuously missing from this slide, but will be impacted by this trend nonetheless.

Bottom Line: While it’s easy to be skeptical that healthcare will ever move at a faster pace, the trend towards instant everything is too powerful for brands to ignore. How can your brand be perceived as “faster”?


 5). 21st Century Healthcare Has Arrived
(Slide 185)

Tucked away in the appendix of this year’s report is a slide depicting the differences between traditional and 21st century healthcare consumers. We are rapidly moving from the familiar world of doctors’ offices, hospitals, and urgent care to a system dominated by connected medicine, retail health (ie, Walgreens, Walmart), healthcare apps and wearables, and healthcare exchanges.

Bottom Line: Over the next 24 months, the cumulative impact of smartphone savvy patients, retail health settings, and the proliferation of healthcare apps and devices is going to create a tipping point towards truly new forms of healthcare management and treatment. Understanding this new environment will be especially critical for launching brands.


A lightning-fast, smartphone-connected, video-driven healthcare marketing landscape is emerging before our eyes. Brands and organizations need to adjust to these new realities or risk being left out of the most meaningful platforms and conversation streams. Marketing programs can certainly continue to operate along the usual and trusted channels, but, increasingly, there simply won’t be anyone there.

Bottom Line: It’s time to make your current marketing program obsolete before Mary Meeker and her 2015 Internet trends do it for you.

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Jim Walker

Jim Walker

Jim Walker is Director, Marketing Strategy at Cadient, a Cognizant Company. Jim provides innovative marketing insights for a wide range of clients, as well as leading Cadient’s content marketing strategy. He is particularly interested in helping brand teams effectively leverage their digital content. He can be reached at
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